Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Sports

Connacht’s longest serving ‘auld fella’ Muldoon is relishing crack at Grenoble

Published

on

Connacht captain John Muldoon who would love to lead the province to their first ever silverware in the weeks ahead.

THESE days, it’s not unusual for John Muldoon to self-deprecatingly refer to himself as an ‘auld fella’.

In fairness, he’s been around the block a few times. So many times, in fact, that he’s the only man still playing for Connacht who featured the other occasion the province was pitted against Grenoble in Europe.  Connacht won that winter’s day  years ago, a momentous triumph on French soil.

The budding back-row was still wet around the ears but was a vital component in the victory. So good was the relatively unknown Portumna young lad’s performance, he “confirmed his emergence as a player of genuine potential”, according to the Tribune Sport report of the 26-21 match.

Over a decade later, Muldoon remains a key influence. Not only is he captain and spiritual leader, he’s enjoying some of the best rugby of his career.

Like a fine wine – Muldoon is getting better with age. That’s evidenced by his vision, deft hands and nimble feet in the lead-up to Caolin Blade’s try in Belfast last week; a beauty, it was undoubtedly Connacht’s try of the season.

The manner in which he tackled, demon like, with a frightening ferocity to hold-out Ulster on the line in the dying minutes, when the game was lost and Connacht were reduced to 13 men, bordered on reckless endangerment.

He’s still got the enthusiasm and desire of a young lad. “Believe me it’s easy come-in in the morning,” he says.

“When you’re winning games it’s easy to come in. There’s a good buzz around the place. There’s a band of supporters that don’t know about Connacht losing. Yes it was a good performance in Ulster and we were disappointed in the result but a lot of supporters of Connacht are shocked and disappointed we lost. That shows you how far we’ve come.”

Connacht trailed 3-18 after just 24 minutes of play in the Alps in January 2005 but staged an incredible comeback. That’s the Connacht stubbornness and resilience. It still permeates the squad today, probably even more so.

Others who played for Connacht alongside Muldoon against Grenoble in that famous Challenge Cup quarter-final win, will feature prominently off-field this Saturday (8.05pm Irish time) at Stade des Alps.

Conor McPhillips, who started at full-back, is now Connacht video analyst. Meanwhile, Bernard Jackman, the hooker that day, is Grenoble head coach and Andrew Farley, who started in the second-row, is a trusty lieutenant.

That Connacht-French connection should make the post-match drinks interesting. But Muldoon is fully focused on the game. He notes that Connacht has twice before qualified for semi-finals, so a win at the weekend would not break new ground. It would be different, though, because securing a home semi-final would “probably be our most realistic chance of ever getting to the final. It’s exciting times.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Agony for St Thomas’ as mighty effort goes unrewarded

Published

on

St Thomas' Conor Cooney and John Headd give chase to Ballyhale Shamrocks' TJ Reid during Sunday's All-Ireland Club Senior Hurling Semi-Final at Semple Stadium. Photos: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile.

Ballyhale Shamrocks 2-15

St Thomas’ 0-20

John McIntyre in Thurles

THIS harrowing All-Ireland Club hurling semi-final defeat in Thurles on Sunday will traumatise and torment St Thomas’ for weeks to come. It was that gut-wrenching – that undeserved.

On an afternoon when St Thomas’ did Galway hurling proud, we are all struggling to come to terms with how they lost a match that they had largely dictated the terms of engagement of, and had Ballyhale Shamrocks in all sorts of distress.

Producing arguably their best-ever team display – characterised by unrelenting commitment and the slick transfer of possession – St Thomas’ stood on the brink of a famous victory over the most decorated club in the over 50-year history of the championship.

Protecting a 15-match winning run outside their county borders, Ballyhale were staring down the barrel of a surprise defeat, having played second fiddle to an inspired St Thomas’s outfit for significant tracts of a gripping and high-quality encounter.

But the reigning All-Ireland champions have mastered the art of pulling games out of the fire – notably their Leinster semi-final escape against St Rynagh’s – and there was always the chance of late drama at Semple Stadium.

St Thomas’ had done so many things right on the day: making great starts to both halves; carrying the battle to Ballyhale; picking off a series of wonderfully-crafted points; and looking the more accomplished stickmen. And somehow . . . it still wasn’t enough.

On a couple of occasions in the second-half, they went four points clear and with the scoring rate of both teams starting to drop, it appeared a healthy advantage in the circumstances. By the 57th minute, St Thomas’s were still 0-18 to 0-15 ahead.

You could sense the rising hope of their supporters in the stand, but they too were left visibly shocked after the influential TJ Reid bailed Ballyhale out of trouble with two bullets from placed balls in the dying embers of the match.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

St Brendan’s best comes up short in low-scoring struggle

Published

on

St Brendan's Ava Trayers is chased by Nicole Shelly of Mullinahone during Sunday's All-Ireland Club Ladies Football Junior Semi-Final in Callan. Photos: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile.

Mullinahone 1-6

St. Brendan’s 0-6

Eanna O’Reilly in Callan

A gallant effort from St. Brendan’s ladies football team came up just short on Sunday in the All-Ireland Club Junior semi-final in Callan.

Tipperary and Munster champions Mullinahone proved to be a step too far for John Kilroy’s side in a game where St. Brendan’s never managed to lead on the scoreboard.

Nevertheless, this was an evenly contested semi-final and St. Brendan’s brought a huge effort and highly impressive work rate on the day. Very little separated the sides throughout the game, with Lorraine O’Shea’s first half goal keeping Mullinahone’s noses in front.

Although they got back to within a point on a couple of occasions, St. Brendan’s never managed to equalise the contest. Mullinahone did just enough to keep the Connacht champions at bay in a low scoring, hard fought struggle.

Mullinahone opened the scoring with a point from Kilkenny camogie star Denise Gaule, who was a huge presence for the Tipp side on the day. St. Brendan’s equalised with the next attack, which saw Liadan Greally kick a point from the right corner.

Lorraine O’Shea soon kicked an impressive score to put Mullinahone back in front, after a neat passing exchange with Aoibhe O’Shea. The O’Shea’s combined again shortly after, with Aoibhe putting Lorraine through on goal, before the latter fired to the bottom corner of the net past Sinéad Kelly.

With St. Brendan’s in need of scores, full forward Michelle Delaney stepped up to the plate and kicked three consecutive points. Delaney followed up a converted free with two points from play as she linked up effectively with Becca Conway on two occasions. A pointed free from Lorraine O’Shea saw Mullinahone take a 1-3 to 0-4 lead into the half time interval.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Galway Sports Stars award winners to be revealed next week

Published

on

Galway senior camogie captain Sarah Dervan, lifts the O'Duffy Cup after their All-Ireland final triumph over Cork at Croke Park last September.

By John McIntyre

GALWAY’S vibrancy as a sporting county will be underlined next week when the Medtronic Galway Sports Stars award winners of 2021 will be announced.

With the lifting of Covid hospitality restrictions, the Galway Sports Stars banquet will now go ahead in the Galway Bay Hotel on Saturday night, February 19.

After the historic achievement Olympic Games’ achievement of rowers Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh, together with the Galway camogie team regaining the All-Ireland title, there will be no shortage of star talent to be honoured

There will also be a Hall of Fame recipient, somebody who has gone into sporting folklore. Who is that person? Find out in next week’s Connacht Tribune.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending